Technology has made life easier and it’s now possible to live forever thanks to ETER9. In addition to that, a prosthetic arm has been built to enable the user feel things. A 28 old patient paralyzed by the spinal cord injury lived for ten years without proper treatment. He was given the prosthetic limb controlled directly by his brain and Defense Advanced Research Project Agency claimed that he was the first human to feel the prosthetic fingers being pressed.
“We’ve completed the circuit,” said Justin Sanchez, manager of the program at blue-sky military research arm Darpa. “By wiring a sense of touch from a mechanical hand directly into the brain, this work shows the potential for seamless bio-technological restoration of near-natural function.”
The patient was able to report with nearly 100 per cent accuracy when the mechanical finger was touched. The patient claimed that the feeling was so real, was as if his own hand was being touched. Another team from the Swiss Federal Institute was also able to create a prosthetic arm that can feel. The arm was used by an amputee from Denmark, he was able to distinguish between hard, soft, round and square objects even while blindfolded and wearing earplugs. However the arm wasn’t controlled by his mind.
So how does prosthetic arm work? A 1mm silicon chip containing several electrodes is embedded in the person’s motor cortex which is the part of the brain that controls arm and hand movements. Another chip is also placed at the area responsible for identifying tactile sensations such as pressure aka volunteer’s sensory cortex. The arm containing pressure sensors on its surface is then connected to both chips by wires. This allows the patient to control the motion of the robot arm, and also send electrical signals to the the sensory cortex which gives the wearer the sensation that they are touching something.
“At one point, instead of pressing one finger, the team decided to press two without telling him,” said Sanchez. “He responded in jest asking whether somebody was trying to play a trick on him.” Reports The Telegraph.
The research was started to help soldiers who get injured in the field or anybody who is in need of a functional limb. Artificially produced products have taken root across the world and tech companies are collaborating with researchers to develop artificial intelligence on devices which will one day wipe out humanity.